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Issue 14 – Christmas 2022

The Jungle

The Wanderer

On Dion.


Arno Hecht is a premier rock-and-roll sax man. He was a founding member of the Uptown Horns, and he has toured with James Brown, Chuck Berry, Tom Waits, and the Rolling Stones, among many others. He blew tenor on “Love Shack,” which hit No. 3 on the U.S. charts in 1989 for the B-52s. And he’s a very nice man. A native of Queens, New York, Hecht, seventy-one, is also the son of Holocaust survivors. He isn’t sure what happens to us after we die—if someone says they know for certain, I’d be wary—but he’s willing to believe it must be something

Dion DiMucci, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon with whom Hecht toured in 2022, says he knows. He not only believes that we’re reunited with those we knew on Earth but offered that comfort to Hecht during one of the horn player’s lowest moments. In January of 2009, Hecht’s fifteen-year-old daughter Ava suddenly died from bacterial meningitis, “sick one day and gone the next,” he said. On the first anniversary of Ava’s death, he was as distraught as the day it happened, perhaps more; hobbled by a wound, he said, “that never heals.”

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About the author

Rafael Alvarez

Rafael Alvarez has published a dozen books—both fiction and nonfiction—all about Baltimore. In September, Cornell University Press released his biography of a violent junkie turned do-gooder called Don’t Count Me Out: A Baltimore Dope Fiend’s Miraculous Recovery. This essay appeared in the Assumption 2022 issue of The Lamp.

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